Miami’s Michael Mina 74 Named Eater.com Restaurant of the Year

Michael Mina 74 at Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a unique concept from award-winning chef and restaurateur Michael Mina, was recently named Miami Restaurant of the Year by Eater.com. Michael Mina 74 brings a high-energy culinary and social destination to the bustling Fontainebleau Miami Beach, a resort owned and operated by Turnberry Associates and its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Soffer.

The restaurant’s dynamic, share-driven menu features whimsical dishes from across the globe, along with the balanced flavors, textures and nuances that have made Mina’s reputation. The MM74 experience begins with the restaurant’s rolling seafood cart, featuring fresh-from-the-sea offerings, many sourced specifically for the hotel. Additional cart selections, the perfect way to augment any meal at this dynamic dining destination, are offered dim sum style and change seasonally; recent selections include chick pea panisse, roasted beet salad and fresh vegetable
spring rolls. Additional menu items include Buttermilk-Fried Chicken with hot sauce and honey, slaw and pickled watermelon; Duck Confit and Scallion Crepe with kimchi, hoisin sauce and pea shoot salad and lobster pot pie. Handcrafted cocktails and expert, house-made infusions complement the eclectic cuisine.

Embracing the sultry spirit of Miami Beach and designed by the award-winning design firm, AvroKO, the restaurant’s décor features dimly lit chandeliers, deep leather couches, plush banquettes and a live DJ that contributes to the restaurant’s lively atmosphere.

How Do the New Restaurant Payment Apps Stack Up?

Are diners and restaurants ready for mobile payment apps? Eater’s new app reviewer Sam Kim takes a look at the options.

Apps that help diners pay for meals with smartphones are still in their infancy, and several are testing the waters in major markets like Chicago, New York, and San Francisco. Promises of added security, lower processing fees, customer analytics, marketing, and increased efficiency for both customers and retailers make these apps an attractive option. Mobile payment apps have low entry barriers for restaurants (many work with existing POS systems and don’t require extra equipment), and tout their ease of use for new and potential customers.

Mobile payment offerings run the gamut from chain-specific apps (Dunkin Donuts, Starbucks, Taco Bell), apps that cater more to independently-owned restaurants (Cups, Cover), and broad-scope restaurant apps (Apple Pay, Dash, Pay with OpenTable, TabbedOut). Below, a look at how some of the most popular restaurant payment apps fared in California and New York, and what the implications might be for diners and restaurants.

  • Apply Pay
  • Cover
  • Paying with OpenTable
  • Dash
  • TabbedOut

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

Ingredients
Cooking spray
1 (19.50-ounce) box chocolate brownie mix
2 eggs
1/4 cup chocolate milk
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup chocolate chips, divided
1/2 cup heavy cream
30 caramels (recommended: Kraft)
2 cups shredded coconut, toasted

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously spray a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix with the eggs, chocolate milk, and oil until just combined. Using a spatula, fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips. Spread into the prepared baking dish and bake until center is barely set, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium low heat. Stir in the caramels until completely melted and incorporated into the cream. Remove from the heat and stir in the coconut. Spread in an even layer over the cooled brownies.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips in the microwave at 15 second intervals, stirring between intervals. Drizzle the chocolate in a criss-cross pattern over the coconut topping. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to set before slicing into bars.

Originally published on foodnetwork.com

CORSAIR by scott conant Coming to Turnberry Isle Miami

This month, award-winning chef, restaurateur, author and TV personality Scott Conant opens CORSAIR by scott conant in Aventura’s Turnberry Isle Miami. The restaurant has undergone a full renovation – inside and out – and occupies the space of the former Cascata Grill overlooking the resort’s Miller Golf Course.

The new restaurant is the latest phase in Jeffrey Soffer’s and Turnberry Associates’ renovations to enrich guest experiences at the iconic resort destination and golf club tucked away on 300 tropical acres in Aventura, between Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Inspired by Florida’s age of discovery and the state’s history of exploration, CORSAIR by scott conant will focus on a rustic, seasonal menu rooted in the farmhouse cooking of America and the Mediterranean. With each changing season, dishes will reflect the harvest of local farmers and purveyors as chefs showcase on center stage, the restaurant’s quality and simplicity of fresh ingredients.

The restaurant’s style and menu will intermingle through a sense of understated sophistication perhaps best described by the Italian expression, “sprezzatura,” which translates as an air of casual elegance.

At CORSAIR by scott conant, guests can enjoy an authentic and relaxing dining experience anchored by unmatched service and personalized hospitality in a lively setting.

Bon Appétit!

Rome Travel: A Really Good Lunch During a Day Trip to Tivoli

I’m always skeptical – almost scared – of restaurants smack in the middle of tourist areas, but a recent experience in Italy made me wonder whether I’ve been too cynical.

One of the great day trips from Rome is to the ancient town of Tivoli, where you can see the gorgeous house and gardens of the Villa d’Este and, a few minutes away, the remains of Hadrian’s Villa. If you want to eat in Tivoli, well, you are by definition in a tourist zone, which would too often be a reliable signal of mediocre food no matter how much or how little you were ready to pay. But thanks to the ministrations of the excellent tour guide Stuart Harvey (we were there as part of a group – how touristy can you get?), we had lunch at a restaurant whose name would have been enough to frighten us even if it hadn’t been a 90-second walk from the gate of the Villa: L’Angolino di Mirko. Mirko? That doesn’t sound very Roman to me….

But as it turned out, lunch was terrific. The menu was interesting and the cooking careful, elegant and flavorful, making use of excellent ingredients. For Jackie and me, the highlight was as good a bellyful of fresh porcini mushrooms we’ve ever encountered, first on lightly grilled bread with excellent olive oil and a little parsley; then tossed with homemade fettuccine.

Read the rest of the article and view pictures here…

Source: huffingtonpost.com

 

BleauFish to Table

Located on Collins Avenue overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach is owned and managed by renowned developer Turnberry Associates. Led by Jeffrey Soffer, the resort completed a $1 billion renaissance in November 2008, which focused, in part, on unique culinary experiences for guests.

One of those, the Fontainebleau’s novel seafood sourcing program, BleauFish Ocean to Table, was profiled in the October issue of Ocean Drive magazine. Writer Bill Kearney joined the resort’s executive chef Thomas Connell and Chee Ping Chang, senior sous chef at Fontainebleau restaurant Hakkasan, on a recent early morning expedition on Fontainebleau’s own fishing boat, the 44-foot BleauFish, helmed by Captain Michael Henry.

Amazingly, all the fish caught by Henry is immediately transported to Connell’s “water world” –six 300-gallon tanks located in the Fontainebleau basement. From there, the fish is prepared by chefs at the resort’s signature restaurants, including Hakkasan and Scarpetta, as well as the Fontainebleau’s other dining outlets. The result is hyperlocal seafood and fresh seafood cuisine.

“It’s really like a market for our chefs to come out here and shop and pick what they like and take to their restaurants and sell it,” Connell told Ocean Drive.

That day, Scarpetta chef de cuisine Marlon Rambaran sautéed a family-style whole yellowtail snapper for two with bay leaves, rosemary, fresh thyme and chives, along with a little sea salt and espelette pepper. On the plate, Rambaran adds lightly boiled asparagus, carrots and sea beans. From the ocean to the table on the same day.

Most Interesting DC Bakeries

DC is a foodie town.  DC residents may spend their days in the law firms, agencies, and on the Hill, but on the weekends, and at nights, they love some good food.  Baked goods have are always a priority for the DC breakfast/brunch/snack.  If looking for a good cookie/cupcake/macaroon/pie then give these a try:

Baked and Wired

While the tourists line up around the block for Georgetown Cupcake a few streets up, DC residents know that the best cupcakes and cup of coffee is at this alternative Georgetown coffeehouse/bakery.  The crowd is a mix of working pros, hipsters, and college students.  For a treat get yourself a cup of coffee and an UnPorked Elvis Cupcake (banana cake, peanut butter frosting, and optional candied bacon).

Dog Tag Bakery

This place isn’t even open yet (we’re going to have to wait till June) and it’s attracting a lot of buzz.  Started by Father Curry of Georgetown, and philanthropist Connie Milstein, this Georgetown Bakery serves as a platform for returning veterans, giving them a job to help with transitioning back from the military.  With such a great cause, close to the hearts of those in the nation’s capital, this bakery is one to keep an eye out for.  Also, the brownies are rumored to be excellent.

Golden Brown Delicious

For the donut fiend in all of us (let’s be honest, no one hates donuts).  Golden Brown Delicious (GBD) serves up some of the most interesting donuts in town including: The German Chocolate Cake, Maple Bourbon Bacon, and Lime Curd Filled.  The place also serves fried chicken, and even a sandwich that is fried chicken with donuts instead of bread.

Sticky Fingers

This Columbia Heights vegetarian restaurant and bakery has a wide range of sandwiches, snacks, salads, and of course baked goods.  Vegetarians go gaga, knowing that they can eat anything in the place.  Be sure to give their Sticky Buns and Mint Brownie a try.  If you feel like it, try both.

The Sweet Lobby

This DC institution gets its name from it’s location-Capitol Hill, just a few blocks from where Congress sits.  Advocating for the spread of sweets everywhere, this place makes some of the best macarons this side of Paris.  With interesting flavors like, Milk Chocolate, Lavender, Fig Balsamic, Lemon, and Umami, this place is doing a great job lobbying for baked goods everywhere.

Kosher Fried Chicken

For those unaware: Kosher keepers are forbidden from mixing meet and milk together.  That makes many fried chicken recipes (which call for buttermilk or other dairy ingredients) quite difficult.  Never fear, here are a few suggestions for how to make your fried chicken rise above its ‘missing’ ingredients.

Use Hummus-a Mediterranean classic.  Coat your chicken with this instead of an egg milk mixture before breading it.  It will make for a nice crispy texture and will act as a great and creative adhesive for your crumbs.  Eggs alone, also work even without the dairy.

Spices-the secret to any good food is the flavor.  With the right spice combination, the thought of something missing will never cross anyone’s mind.  Salt and pepper are your basics, but make sure to get something fresh in there, some herbs, some spice, and something with depth.

Fun Breadings-You can use breadcrumbs, and it will come out great, but why not add something a little crazier?  Try mashing pretzels and potato chips for a game-day feel to your next batch of chicken.

Oil Type-there’s a big difference between, peanut, olive, and canola.  Try them out and find which one is best for you and your chicken recipe.

Cooked to Perfection-Ensure that you keep an eye on your cooking times, because no matter what you put into your food, if you don’t cook it properly it’s just plain not going to work.  When frying your chicken, make certain you time it right, and all sides, get crispy.  Don’t over cook it or the chicken will get too dry.

Not convinced? Check out some other recipes for fried chicken from celebrity chefs like Paula Deen and Ina Garten.

10 Foods That If They Disappeared Life Would Not Be Worth Living:

Imagine a world without these foods.  It’s unfathomable isn’t it?

 

Burgers: Everyone deserves to have one, that’s why they invented veggie burgers.  Why take it away?

Cheese: Because it’s good on everything and by itself.

Chocolate: Just imagine Valentine’s Day without it.  Imagine coming home after a bad day without it—it’s just not the same.

Fried Chicken: Hear that sizzle, taste the goodness and the crispiness.  Let it all sink in.

Ice Cream: I don’t care if it’s zero degrees, I’m eating it and I will like it.

Pasta: Mark my words anarchy would ensue.

Pizza: Sauce, cheese, bread-yep it’s got to stay.

Potatoes: What would side-dishes be without them?  Nothing that’s what.

Salad: No wait, come back, really, think about how refreshing it is.  I knew you would be back.

Breakfast: All of the breakfast foods are essential to human survival.  It’s a fact.

Restaurant Reality TV – Three of the Best

Running a successful restaurant is notoriously difficult. Aside from the daily concerns that accompany any business, a restaurant must satisfy people’s culinary tastes as well as provide a suitable environment for entertainment . As such, it should come as no surprise that many restaurants (and their chefs) are unable to succeed in such a competitive business. However, the personal struggles combined with the inherent competitiveness of the industry is a perfect formula for reality television. Here is just a sample of the more popular restaurant-based reality TV shows.

Hell’s Kitchen
One of the most popular restaurant reality TV shows is the Fox-based “Hell’s Kitchen,” inspired by a British show of the same name. The show’s focus is undoubtedly the master chef and ultimate judge, Gordon Ramsey. Known for his harsh criticism and high standards, Ramsey chooses a winner from an initial pool of candidates.

The contestants are divided into teams and given a series of cooking challenges. Ultimately, the contest is reduced to two chefs, with Ramsey evaluating advice from his staff before he makes the final decision. Ramsey’s showmanship and difficult attitude combined with his professional expertise contribute to the show’s success.

Restaurant Impossible
The Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” offers a more positive spin on restaurant reality television. The focus of the show is Chef Robert Irvine’s attempt to save a failing restaurant in only two days with a budget of $10,000.

After an initial assessment of the restaurant’s problems, Irvine and crew undergo a major renovation, making changes in decor, staff and menu. In addition to these significant alterations, Irvine offers advice to owners and staff about how to improve their failing restaurant.

Top Chef
Bravo’s “Top Chef” is perhaps the show that most resembles the “classic” reality TV format, with the contestants directly competing with each other through a series of contests designed to pare the contestants down to two or three finalists. The competition includes different type of contests.

Initially, the contestants will engage in Quickfire challenges, which demand the chefs cook a specific dish that has very particular instructions or engage in a challenge related to cooking. As opposed to the rapid nature of Quickfire challenges, an Elimination Challenge requires more preparation as well as time. The chefs work individually or in groups. After the end of the Elimination Challenge, the participants move to the Judges’ Table, where they are given their final placement.